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CSU alumnus, owner of Krazy Karl’s bleeds green, gold

Nate+Haas%2C+owner+of+Krazy+Karls+Pizza+and+Colorado+State+University+graduate%2C+poses+for+a+portrait+at+the+Krazy+Karls+location+off+of+Timberline+Road+Sept.+12.+
Collegian | Ivy Secrest
Nate Haas, owner of Krazy Karl’s Pizza and Colorado State University graduate, poses for a portrait at the Krazy Karl’s location off of Timberline Road Sept. 12.

The return of the Rocky Mountain Showdown may be the reigniting of an old tradition for many Colorado State University fans, but for newcomers, it can be hard to understand what this game is and why it matters.

Krazy Karl’s Pizza is prepared to carry on the spirit of the game. Owner Nate Haas and his family have been lifelong fans, and while they support CSU in every way they can, the Rocky Mountain Showdown is the game they always want to win most. 

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“To me and a lot of CSU fans, it’s our No. 1 game of the year,” Nate Haas said. “I think Wyoming is a good rival, but to me, I want to beat Boulder more than any other team. And it’s been that way for a long time.”

Nate Haas grew up a Ram, meeting his wife Claudia Haas at CSU. They both graduated in December 2005 and haven’t stopped being Rams fans for a moment since. 

“Since the late ’70s, we’ve been going to games and following the CSU athletic department and promoting it every way we can individually,” Nate Haas said. “Once we opened the business, it became easier to be able to do larger amounts of promotion for the school.”

Krazy Karl’s is the official watch party sponsor for the Rocky Mountain Showdown as well as the other away games this season. They’ve been giving back to CSU as soon as they were able to, and the better the year, the more they are able to give back to a community they love. 

Though new students may be at a loss for what this game means to longtime fans, it wasn’t too long ago that the whole Front Range would get riled up about the prospect of winning. 

“The buzz on campus was not if you were going, it was how you were getting down there,” said Kaitlin Forte, manager of business partnerships for the CSU Alumni Association. “Everyone really rallies around this game, and it’s our in-state rivalry.”

Forte graduated from CSU in 2015 and began working for the Iris & Michael Smith Alumni Center in 2021. Being from Tucson, Arizona, she didn’t grow up around the Rams, but she’s become a fan since. 

“It was always really fun to engage in the rivalry and to be able to kind of share all of that with other students and alums,” Forte said. “I mean, everyone flocks to those games. So it was a really fun experience as a student and definitely, like, some of my greatest memories.”

Nate Haas gets to engage with all of these students every year, bringing in that young Ram energy and pulling in would-be fans from all over. He loves having full restaurants, especially when he gets to meet people from out of town who could be new Rams fans. 

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“We want them to care,” Nate Haas said. “I have friends that are from all different areas of the country, and they want to jump in and be CSU fans, but they want to see it first. They want to see their first game being a success. And so we’re really hoping that comes on Saturday.”

From a business standpoint, a win makes all the difference. People come out more, and the more people come out, the more Nate Haas and his team can do to support CSU. Their beat-the-clock specials and pizza provided in events like football games and even summer camps are motivated by a love for CSU and fond memories of CSU football. 

“It might be dramatic to call them a pillar of Fort Collins, but they are just so well known in this town,” Forte said. “They’ve been working closely with CSU Athletics in particular for a while. And so when we were trying to evaluate where our alumni would want to watch the game, Krazy Karl’s was truly first on our list.”

Reach Ivy Secrest at life@collegian.com or on Twitter @IvySecrest.

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About the Contributor
Ivy Secrest, Content Managing Editor
Ivy Secrest is The Collegian's content managing editor. Secrest uses she/her/hers pronouns and has worked for The Collegian previously as a reporter and as life and culture director for the 2022-23 academic year. As a senior in the journalism and media communications department, Secrest enjoys reporting on environmental and social issues with a special interest in science communication. She is president of the Science Communication Club and is pursuing a minor in global environmental sustainability with hopes of utilizing her education in her career. Growing up in Denver, Secrest developed a deep love for the outdoors. She could happily spend the rest of her life hiking alpine environments, jumping into lakes, taking photos of the wildflowers and listening to folk music. She's passionate about skiing, hiking, dancing, painting, writing poetry and camping. Secrest's passions spurred her career in journalism, helping her reach out to her community and get involved in topics that students and residents of Fort Collins truly care about. She has taken every opportunity to connect with the communities she has reported in and has written for several of the desks at The Collegian, including news, life and culture, cannabis, arts and entertainment and opinion. She uses her connections with the community to inform both managerial and editorial decisions with hopes that the publication serves as a true reflection of the student body's interests and concerns. Secrest is an advocate of community-centered journalism, believing in the importance of fostering meaningful dialogue between press and community.

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  • K

    KarlaOct 12, 2023 at 5:37 am

    Nate Haas should be more respectful to university leadership. You all should read his Twitter / X account.

    It would also be great if they didn’t run out of pizza before halftime.

    Reply